This week is significant in the lives of the more than 40 million Hispanics in the United States in that it marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The presidential tickets in this election on both sides of the aisle have lots of "personality;" some of the candidates have even been referred to as "rock stars." John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis has said that "this election is not about issues, this election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates." That has been widely interpreted as a prediction that the election will be about personalities more than about issues. That would be a tragedy. [...]
Based on some responses to my last post, and a new poll by Faith in Public Life and Mercer University, it seems there are many evangelicals who believe that there are in fact times when torture is necessary and proper. I am assuming these people also believe it is at [...]
Christians are people who follow a tortured and murdered God. This fact speaks clearly to what our values should be. One of those values should be a rejection of torture, violence in the name of "law" and the common good, and murder.
John McCain's acceptance speech last night sought to present him as a maverick and bipartisan reformer, in contrast to the total partisanship of Sarah Palin the night before. She clearly relishes her own self-description as a pit bull with lipstick who fires up the conservative base, while McCain wants to reach out to the independents he knows he needs to win. He told his story again of how capture and torture took him from a reckless and selfish young man to a deep love for his [...]
While many conservatives have known and admired Sarah Palin for some time, most Americans do not know her. So the intense media focus on the new Republican vice-presidential nominee was to be expected. But some of it has been inappropriate, especially when reporters go after the Palin family's choices. The suggestion that running for vice president with a 5-month-old special-needs child and a pregnant 17-year-old daughter should make her suspect as a mother is a blatant double standard that [...]
Yesterday morning, I started what would become an historic day with my favorite historian. As a young man, Vincent Harding was part of the inner circle of the southern freedom movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and later became one of the civil rights movement's best chroniclers and interpreters. Vincent has also been a mentor and trusted friend to me and to Sojourners for many years.
Vincent Harding was there at the Democratic Convention in 1964 when the party refused to seat [...]
In January of 1964, President Johnson declared "unconditional war on poverty in America." In response, the Census Bureau created a methodology for establishing an "official poverty line," determined the number of people whose incomes fell below the line, and calculated the poverty rate. The formula for determining poverty was based on the assumption that food costs consume one-third of a family's after-tax income -- an assumption that is still used today, though food now constitutes [...]
As we pass the half-way point of our Jesus for President tour, we remember Jesus' admonition that we be "as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves." There is a lot of momentum around our little campaign of political misfits - from some of the mainstream media and from the dozen cities where we've had thousands of folks come together to plot goodness. And with the [...]
The fact that an African American and a woman each ran so strongly in the long primary season of this election year speaks very well of the country. Having two "firsts" competing for the presidency, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, makes this a very historic political year. But it was perhaps unfortunate that the two firsts ended up running against each other. After a hard-fought campaign, there inevitably remain some hard feelings among the supporters of both candidates, but [...]
Here in Manhattan, the city streets hum with hope following the announcement of the first African American to be nominated for president by a major political party. According to news reports, similar scenarios are taking place across the world. As we celebrate this historical moment in electoral politics, Sarah Cunningham, author of
Four years ago, Call to Renewal conducted a 12-day "Rolling to Overcome Poverty" bus tour to say that poverty was a religious and electoral issue. Despite our best efforts, the word was rarely spoken in either campaign, or in the presidential debates. This year, it's already different.
On Wednesday, John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama, which, of course, made headlines across the country. But at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, rally where the two men spoke, something even more important [...]